Castigating the police in the strongest terms, the Bombay high court ordered a departmental inquiry against three policemen attached to the Khar police station, for allegedly neglecting complaints lodged by cosmetic surgeon Dr Vijay Sharma.
The court noted that the tendency to cover up had risen in the police force.
As per arguments presented in court, some senior police officers had given a clean chit to the three policemen, after allegedly conducting an inquiry into the doctor’s claims that false complaints of molestation had been lodged against him without giving him the chance to explain his side of the story.
“The tendency not to hold inquiries even i n serious allegations of bribery, corruption, neglect of duty and misconduct is on the rise,” the judges said, adding, “In every such case what we find is that right from inception, an attempt is made to cover up and defend the police officers by refusing to hold inquiries against them.”
On the basis of a complaint of a purported journalist, on January 12, 2008, Khar police station had registered an FIR against Dr Sharma and booked him for allegedly molesting and outraging the modesty of the woman.
After being arrested and released on bail in the case, the cosmetic surgeon lodged a complaint with the Khar police claiming that the complaint was false and was filed with an ulterior motive.
But, no heed was paid to his complaints.
The doctor was ultimately acquitted in the case.
Then another woman lodged a similar complaint against him and a second FIR came to be lodged.
Thereafter, the doctor moved the high court seeking directions to take action against the three police personnel.
“It is true that every complaint or allegation [against police personnel] need not be inquired into but at the same time a decision that assures citizens that even police officers cannot go scot-free in case of misconduct, is the minimal guarantee that should be evident from the actions of superiors,” the judges said.
“Every complaint need not be pushed under the carpet.”